As I prepare to launch a new title, I’m arguing with myself about just where I ought to be selling it.
The majority of my readers come from Amazon, which makes sense — Amazon is easy to navigate, has a great search engine, includes useful categories like “equestrian fiction,” and delivers pretty much everywhere in either a few days, or instantaneously if you’re downloading an ebook. And yes, the majority of my readers are downloading an ebook.
Last year at Equine Affaire, I did a booksigning with Taborton Equine Books, who carry my titles at their mobile bookstore. They set up at expos and large horse shows around the country, so it’s a fun way to get my paperbacks in front of equestrians. I mentioned to the owner that I’d love to see my books sold in tack shops, even though, of course, anyone could walk into their local bookstore and order a copy there.
“Well, yes, if they have a bookstore,” she pointed out, “and most people don’t.”
I didn’t realize this, coming from Brooklyn at the time, but local bookstores really are becoming a thing of the past, especially in rural countryside where my equestrian audience would tend to live. I mean, look at Orlando. I’ve lived in a fairly urban area in Florida for all of six months and already one of the two large bookstores within an easy drive has closed down, which makes me wonder how much longer I’ll have access to a bookstore at all.
So if I can establish that most readers are buying their books online, the question is, where are you buying them from? For me, it looks like my readers go straight to Amazon. Most of my ebook and print sales are from Amazon. Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iTunes, and Scribd trail way in the dust.
Here’s why it matters: I’m thinking about enrolling my new book (and possibly others) in Kindle Select. This means that the books are sold exclusively on Amazon – no B&N, no iTunes, nothing. I don’t love that. But, if it helps more people find my books, and if Amazon members can borrow them at no cost, enjoy them, and tell their friends to read them, then it seems worthwhile.
After all, anyone can download a book from Amazon and read it on the free Kindle app, even if they don’t have a Kindle.
But what do you think, readers? Where do you buy your books? At a bookstore, at the tack shop, from Amazon, from BN.com? I would love to know!